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Oyo says sound environmental policies do not cause any cholera cases

…trains 42 animators in water and hygiene

The Oyo State government believes that the lack of cholera cases in the state is due to adequate preparation to deal with unforeseen epidemic circumstances and recent reforms and environmental policies.

Bayo Lawal, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, explained how the state has been able to improve its environmental performance, which has resulted in a cleaner environment across the state.

Also read: Cholera: Besitz Group Fights Community Epidemic with Mechanized Drilling

He stated this during the celebration of the National Environmental Sanitation Day in 2024, the theme of which was: “Environmental Sanitation in the Age of Climate Change”.

National Environmental Sanitation Day is held every year on June 28 to raise awareness of the need for personal and environmental hygiene among Nigerians. However, Oyo State commemorated the day on Tuesday.

Lawal said fears that cholera was contagious and had spread to neighbouring states contributed to the success of putting all medical personnel on high alert and ensuring that all suspected cases were treated quickly.

He added that the state government has over the years implemented a number of positive and groundbreaking environmental policies that have helped improve environmental safety in various parts of the state, protecting them from the impact of climate change.

He reiterated that the administration’s zero tolerance policy towards filth and untidy dumping of garbage, cleaning and expansion of river beds in all geopolitical zones are important factors.
Meanwhile, the Oyo State government has trained coordinators in the Water Hygiene and Water Treatment Commissions (WASHCOMs) to prepare for the implementation of comprehensive community-led sanitation solutions to encourage all communities in Ibarapa-East Local Government Area to achieve defecation-free status.

The five-day workshop, organised in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF), was declared open by
Babalola Afobaje, Chairman of the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (OYORUWASSA).

In his speech at a training of trainers (ToT) conference in Oyo town, Oyo State, Afobaje called on all communities to work together to ensure overall improvement in health and sanitation in Ibarapa-East and the state as a whole.

Also read: Nigeria is drowning in neglect: floods, cholera and the urgent need for action

Afobaje appreciated the efforts of the Oyo State Government and the technical and financial support of UNICEF towards eliminating open defecation and ensuring healthier citizens, which will translate into socio-economic development of the state.

The Chairman particularly appreciated the efforts of the current state government to contain the outbreak of all forms of epidemics.

Monday Johnson, UNICEF WASH Specialist, said the participants will form and train WASHCOM members who will ensure that their communities in Ibarapa-East LGA stop and maintain the practice of open defecation.